Students Offer Admissions Interview Advice

In the wake of our Round 2 – January 5 deadline, we will be sending out many admissions interview invitations over the coming weeks. In the meantime, we asked several of our current students to offer their best advice on how to ace your business school admissions interview.

What did you find helpful when preparing for your admissions interview?
“The admissions interview for business school can be a stressful experience and preparing for it can be just as stressful. I found that knowing my story, or “hook,” like the back of my hand was extremely helpful in preparing for the interview. I had to know what made me a unique candidate and how I could separate myself from other candidates. Just like a job interview, practicing is another great way to make sure that you nail down all of the points you want to drive home to your admissions interviewer. Through careful preparation, this will also help take some of the stress off on your interview day so you can go in to the interview confident and ready to impress.” – Bryan Carlo, MBA Class of 2018

Jaime Staengel

Jaime Staengel

“When I was preparing for my admissions interview, I found it helpful to reflect on all the experiences I had on my resume. This involved analyzing each of the items on my resume and asking myself directed questions such as “How did this internship influence me to want to apply for business school?” or “What did I learn from this experience that would be directly applicable to a b-school environment?” Taking the time to do this ensured I knew myself and answered the questions confidently. I also did practice interviews with friends once I thought through these questions so I was more comfortable with my delivery in the interview.” – Jaime Staengel, MS in Finance Class of 2018

“If you’ve landed an interview at Simon, you’re obviously smart and capable, and you’ve already looked through several resources online with potential questions. But, one of the most valuable pieces of advice I can give is truly understanding why Simon is the right school for you AND you are the right person for Simon. The key to cohesiveness is to have individuals with similar values working together in concert. So, you should ask yourself how your time at Simon will be mutually beneficial, and let that shine through in your answers.” – Nikhil Pinto, MBA Class of 2019

What do you think made your admissions interview successful?
“I know it sounds cliché but I think one thing that made my admissions interview successful was being myself. My undergraduate and internship experiences were more focused economics and not in finance, but by being myself and sharing insights from those experiences, my interviewer was able to connect with me and help me in seeing where connections between the two fields could arise in my program. Sharing some of my personal interests made my admissions interview successful as well because I was able to learn about some of the clubs Simon has and show an interest in wanting to be involved in the Simon community.” – JS

Nikhil Pinto

Nikhil Pinto

“My Simon interview was my first among several, and I did not know what to expect. Instead of a rapid fire Q&A (that I expected), it ended up as an engaging conversation about life experiences, opinions, and interests. I was interested in learning as much about the school, as my interviewer was interested in learning about me. Among many reasons, I eventually chose Simon because of the family atmosphere and helpful people, and these qualities came through early in the admissions process.” – NP

“I think what made my admissions interview successful was exhibiting my desire to join the Simon community and trying to demonstrate in my answers that I would be a good fit for the class. In your answers, try to incorporate how your prior experience can help your future classmates, why you want to be at Simon, and how you plan on using your Simon education to further your career. Also, try to make a personal connection with your interviewer so that they remember you and can see that you can relate well with other people. My interviewer was from the same city as I am, so we were able to connect on our local football team and the local cuisine. In a small class size it is important that the admissions counselors can see that you will get along well with your classmates as you will be spending a lot of time with them.” – BC

What did you take away from your admissions interview experience at Simon?
“I learned to prepare for all types of questions, but when the time comes, be yourself rather than speaking off a script. Simon wants you for you, not for what you think you should be.” – NP

Bryan Carlo

Bryan Carlo

“My biggest takeaway from the admissions interview was just to be honest, be yourself, and stay relaxed. This is the opportunity not only for the admissions counselors to learn more about you, but for you to learn more about Simon. When you come in for the interview have a list of thoughtful questions that show you are genuinely interested in Simon and show your curiosity about the school. The admissions interview is a way to see if you would be a good fit for Simon, so giving answers that are true to who you are will help the interviewers make a determination if you would succeed in the program.” – BC

“I took away that Simon is focused on getting to know you as a candidate from a holistic perspective. They are not looking at one or two numbers such as your GPA or GMAT score. Instead, I discovered in my admissions interview that they want to learn if you are truly passionate about your area of focus, if you are willing and eager to learn and meet people with diverse backgrounds, and if you can persevere in challenging situations. Having been here as a student for about half of my program now, I can say the admissions interview experience prepared me to be aware of these components that are a part of my daily life at Simon, such as working with my diverse team on finishing a rigorous assignment.” – JS

If you’re interested in applying to Simon, assess your eligibility for our Full-Time MBA or Full-Time MS programs. You can also speak to a current MBA or MS student about their Simon experience. We hope to hear from you!

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